Doesn’t it aggravate you to hear about a fragrance or collection and not have any way to sample it, save for buying an entire bottle unsniffed? And I just can’t do that, although I know some of you have braved those waters with varying degrees of success. Of course, there are always splits, but I’ve never done one. I’ve been seeing the Oscar de la Renta Essential Luxuries collection on Saks dot com for some time now and several of them looked interesting. But there was no venue for sampling it that I could find. I figured that perhaps this six-scent group wasn’t well enough known for the decant services to have them; my local Saks Fifth Avenue isn’t carrying them; and there’s not an Oscar boutique anywhere near me.
However, thanks to the kind folks at Oscar de la Renta, I’ve been able to try a bit.
While all of them were nice and obviously well-done fragrances, several really piqued my interest, tickling my nose and saying, “Try me again, please!”
One of those was Oriental Lace. The info on this, per the Saks Web site: “A daring, dark oriental laced with gourmand nuances that embody the opulent textures in Oscar de la Renta’s celebrated runway collections. The fragrance unfolds to a warm, inviting blend of the unique hoya carnosa flower with hints of honey and bitter almond surrounded by dark cacao and patchouli for a mysterious, delectable treat.”
I’m not familiar with the hoya carnosa flower the ad copy mentions, and I don’t know about “mysterious,” but this is an interesting scent: warm, a tad floral, and slightly gourmand, yet not tipping too far over onto the dessert plate, at least on my skin. For a moment, it reminded me a bit of Chanel Coromandel, except sweeter, less dry and with considerably less patchouli.
I shouldn’t say this, because I know how divisive Angel can be, but this struck me as how I would have liked the Thierry Mugler scent to smell. The Oriental Lace has chocolate and patchouli to be sure, but takes a different path — softer, more creamy, without the nose-searing potential of Angel. But even though it’s several notches down in intensity, it could veer into overwhelming territory if you got too happy with the sprayer. One spritz on one wrist was enough for me, but then I am notorious for under-application.
After a short bout of springlike weather here and now back into the chilly temps, this scent hit the spot one cool, gray afternoon.
As I mentioned above, several others in this Oscar de la Renta collection also caught my interest, but that’s for another day.
Anyhoo, I’ve gotten my mitts on some more Oriental Lace, so I will give away sample vials of it to three Posse peeps. If you’re interested, please leave a comment. I’ll put your names into one of my big straw hats and let my son close his eyes, reach in and pick the winners. If you don’t want to be entered, just mention NDFM (no draw for me) in your comment.
Available at Oscar de la Renta boutiques, Saks Fifth Avenue (online and select stores, but not certain which ones); 3.4-ounce EDP spray, $150. I just noticed that the line is also now available online at Neiman Marcus, same price and size, but my store doesn’t carry it, and isn’t likely to, says my friendly NM sales associate.